Friday, 20 April 2012

McCall's M5446 Pirate costume review

Last Friday (has taken me a while to publish this post!!) the kids enjoyed a fun day at school dressed up as their favourite book character for World Book Day. Sean (5) chose to go as Captain Hook so we set off to my local fabric store to see what we could come up with. He chose a red, heavy weight cotton fabric for the jacket and a fun black and red pirate print for the jacket trim. I had plenty of white fabric at home for the shirt. We chose the McCall's pattern because it had the jacket which every pirate captain has to have. The pattern itself is not cheap - costing just over £8.00. The jacket needs 1.05m plus an extra 1.15m for the trim. The shirt is another 1.15m. Altogether this is not a cheap option but it is different to the mass produced versions out there.

It is probably over 10 years since I last used a pattern to sew from so it felt a bit strange and probably took me a bit longer than someone a bit more experienced. I would also say that this pattern is not for the feint hearted. If you are not an experienced seamstress you may find the collars tricky on both the jacket and the shirt. There is a lot of detail but if you persevere it does look great when you have finished. On the jacket I added some elastic at the back waist line to pull it in a bit and give a bit more shape and also a hook and eye at the front fastening just to keep it together. Instead of eyelets on the shirt I just did some small buttonholes and used a cord with metal ends (from a used paper bag) for the shirt tie.

Positives - looks great and is different to anything in the shops
Negatives - expensive, time consuming

For the black hair I sewed strands of thick black wool/yarn into the rim of the hat and for the boots I painted an old pair of wellies with some black matt emulsion paint.


  1. I am attempting to sew this pattern right now and I am having a heck of a time with the collar of the coat. The pattern instructions are super unclear as to exactly where/how the central collar portion attaches to the main coat section. Any advice would be wonderful! You can contact me at :)

  2. This is definitely not an easy collar but to make it easier you have to have all the notches and circles clearly marked on your fabric pieces. When you get to step 15 lay the jacket piece flat with the right side facing up and find the center point between the two shoulder seams i.e the center back point and mark with a pin. Now take the collar piece and find the center point between the two notches and match this up with your pin on the jacket. The edges of the collar should now match up with your circles and clips wich you can see on the drawing in step 10. It does look a bit odd at this stage but once the facing goes on it all makes sense. Hope it works out - let me know how you get on.